You can give it a listen below.
Light The Way last released False Memory Syndrome in March 2018, also through Indie Vision.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 12:30 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
You can give it a listen below.
Light The Way last released False Memory Syndrome in March 2018, also through Indie Vision.
Monday, July 1, 2019 at 1:49 PM (PST) by Carson Winter
Deals, Deals, Deals is probably my favorite surprise of the year. I’d seen Ramona before, I’d even liked them before, but their Red Scare debut is something special. They have the songs, they have the hooks, and they have the words to make it more than just a party. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with what I actually I want from punk music. So much of it is trying to be something else—either a clone of a clone or a knowing throwback to when clones ruled the indies. Ramona is different. Ramona feels like a natural intersection of a group of close creatives; Deals, Deals, Deals is defined by songwriting before genre, and where the songs go, the sound rightly follows.
Which isn’t to say that Ramona is making music outside the confines of genre. This is melodic punk, or maybe indie punk. It’s bouncy and catchy and plaintive when it needs to be. The power chords are thick and chuggy and they form the blocky backing track to the band’s dueling vocalists. But, the fact that Ramona is a three-piece makes their music feel all the more intimate, listening to Deals, Deals, Deals, I couldn’t forget that these songs, as personal as they are, were forged from the fires of three close people. It goes a long way to capturing a certain tone, of raw conversations and comfortable clashes.
The album opens with “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Hearts,” which features some slice-of-life relationship storytelling delivered with emotional gusto and supported by some meaty hooks. Where a lot of pop punkish bands lose their way is with their arrangements, but Ramona dodges this common misstep with thoughtful changes in their playing, specifically their drumming. I don’t often notice drumming in a song, because I’m a rhythmless philistine, but they use it here to great effect to control the song’s dynamic. “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Hearts” becomes a full-throated, danceable singalong with a positively insistent energy.
On “Not Your Token,” we get to hear a really cool lyrical perspective as well as some Lawrence Arms-style duet singing between the two vocalists (who I wish I could name, but all the information I’ve found is the first names of the three members, and not what they do). The throat shredding call of, “I’m not your token, I’m a fucking person,” is the kind of punk rock line I live for. It boils down the sentiment to a single statement, direct and in your face. More structurally, the song is a grail of hooks, where the entire run time feels like a big singalong chorus. “We’ll make a difference, we’ll make it better, with or without you,” might just be punk’s logline for years to come.
“Is This Emo?” is one of the other highlights of the album for me. It’s an incredibly frank, personal song about self-perception and it reminded me of that uncomfortable frisson I first felt from bands like AJJ and Against Me! It was that sort of confrontation via talk therapy that initially pulled me deeper into the genre, and it’s bands like Ramona, with their fearless navel-gazing, that keeps me there. Deals, Deals, Deals! is filled with these trauma-narrative-cum-pop-songs, and it makes it for an involving, resonant listen.
The album ultimately has a message of hope, as “Mambo 69” concludes: “you can build your own family, be the person that you wanna be.” Deals, Deals, Deals! uses punk rock as a vehicle for self-improvement, as a means to stare the bullshit in the eye and see it for what it is. It’s about acknowledging the worst and then striving for the best. Ramona accomplishes their goals with the finesse of scene veterans, and they do it with some of the best music I’ve heard all year.
Monday, July 1, 2019 at 12:30 PM (PST) by jaystone
For the first time since the release of last year’s Into The Agony, the Smoking Popes made their way to Boston – well, Somerville really – last Monday night, setting up shop at the unique, 300-capacity former function hall that is Once Ballroom for the evening. With support from the run of shows coming from The Ataris and with locals Donaher getting the early-arriving crowd engaged, it was an evening that evoked all the best of the power-pop glory days of an earlier decade.
Hailing from the great State of New Hampshire – yours truly’s birthplace – Donaher are a four piece band that sadly I’d not seen before. They might be on the newer side – the band’s debut album, I Swear My Love Is True, was released in late 2017 on Dodgeball Records – but their sound is classic: catchy, melodic power-pop songs of love and heartbreak. It’s like if This Year’s Model-era Elvis Costello and Road To Ruin-era Ramones had a kid, and that kid grew up on a steady diet of the Lemonheads and Mr. T Experience. Is that specific enough a reference? We think so; check out their sound for yourself right here.
The Ataris, who’re essentially the Kris Roe Travelling All-Stars at this point, were up next, assuming the primary support role on the duration of this run. The benefit of that approach is that Roe can assemble a dynamite backing lineup, which at this time consists of Mike Doherty on guitar, Montreal music scene vet Danny LaFlamme on bass and Dustin Phillips on drums. The band powered through all the hits, with Roe taking on a few tracks solo in the process. His guitar playing has often gone underrated, and trends toward being more ethereal and experimental than his pop-punk pedigree would imply, although his near-constant switching on and off of various loops and pedals was a tad mind-numbing at times. The crowd, while not quite at capacity, was still noticeably vocal and engaged throughout The Ataris’ set (prompting Popes’ frontman Josh Caterer to remark with a smile during his own band’s set that “I know you’re all here to see The Ataris, but thanks for sticking around”). Also, they played under a static red LED light, which is waaaaay over the head of yours truly’s photo taking and editing skills, thus the relative few shots in the gallery below.
Still touring in support of their seventh studio album, last year’s phenomenal Into The Agony, Chicago’s Smoking Popes plowed through a seventy-five-ish minute headline set that spanned the course of their two decade career. Into The Agony, as most of you should know, marked the return of drummer Mike Felumlee to the fold for the first time since 1997’s Destination Failure, and his presence behind the kit has been a noteworthy shot in the arm. The Popes’ lineup was a little altered on this run – Felumlee’s The Bigger Empty bandmate Reuben Baird is filling in for Mike Caterer on bass – but seeing and hearing Felumlee manning the kit behind the remaining brothers Caterer just seems right. I’ve seen the Popes a handful of times over the last couple of years, and this might have been the tightest, most energetic set yet. Whether it was on newer favorites like “Summer Down” or “Amanda My Love,” or classic staples like “Rubella” and “I Know You Love Me,” the band sound as fresh and vital as ever. Josh Caterer’s dulcet crooning has probably been the most well-known individual instrument over the course of the Popes’ career, but make no mistake about it: Josh and Eli Caterer are dual guitar heavyweights. As a wannabe guitar dork, it fills me with great joy to watch the two trade licks on the former’s gorgeous Fender Coronado and the latter’s even more gorgeous Strack Woodworking Jazzmaster clone.
Head below to see the full photo gallery from this night.
Monday, July 1, 2019 at 11:05 AM (PST) by rick delaney
Self-confessed bird-nerds, Avem, have a new single out. It’s called “Don’t Cull Me Bro” and it’s the first new music from the feathery-four-piece since their 2018 EP, Sing Every Day.
Check out “Don’t Cull Me Bro” below.
Monday, July 1, 2019 at 10:12 AM (PST) by rick delaney
The hilariously named Dutch pop punk band Bony Macaroni have just released their first single since the five-track, self-titled debut EP earlier this year. The track is called “Atlas Fugged” and you can stream it in its entirety below.
Bony Macaroni describe themselves as being for fans of “Modern Baseball, Sorority Noise, Foxing, Pinegrove, Free Throw, The Wonder Years”. If those bands float your boat, check them out!
Blink-182 have released further material from their as yet untitled upcoming album. The new single ‘Generational Divide’ is now streaming across all the main platforms. This track has a more urgent punk rock sound, with Matt Skiba and Mark Hoppus trading vocals, and clocks in at just 49 seconds. The two songs released so far have very different sounds so the album should be an interesting listen if nothing else.
Check out the video for Generational Divide below.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 2:00 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Motion City Soundtrack have announced some upcoming tour dates starting on New Years Eve, and running through January of 2020.
You can check out all the dates and locations below.
Motion City Soundtrack’s last album Panic Stations was released in September 2015 through Epitaph Records.
Pop-punk cover aficionados New Found Glory have released a video for the Anna Kendricks hit “Cups”, and yes I can promise it gets stuck in your head just like the original. Coming off New Found Glory’s latest covers album From The Screen To Your Stereo Part 3, which was released back in May through Hopeless Records.
Check out the video below.
As much as New Found Glory takes flack for their musical stylings, no doubt we’re going to miss them when their gone, so enjoy these pop-punk covers of some real catchy-ass songs. As mentioned above, New Found Glory’s most recent release From The Screen To Your Stereo Part 3.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 11:10 AM (PST) by Goldfinger
California pop-punks Calmgrove have released a video for their song “Give & Take”. The video which is set in the woods, is a metaphorical look at the constant struggle of trying to run away from the things subconciously we want most. Alright, maybe it’s not that deep, there is however a tug-of-war between two, what can only be assumed lovers. Which leads to the breaking of a union if you will. While I may have looked a little deeper into this video for the underlying meaning than the band intended, it’s a pretty awesome song.
Check it out for yourself below.
This is the latest in a string of singles released by Calmgrove. I would suspect all these singles could potentially lead to an album in the near future.
Monday, June 24, 2019 at 8:49 AM (PST) by rick delaney
You can check out Wan-Wan below. The previous release from the four-piece was the 2016 EP, Supporting Rules!
Monday, June 17, 2019 at 10:48 AM (PST) by rick delaney
Pop Punk duo The Dollyrots have a new video out for a track from their forthcoming album, Daydream Explosion. The tune chosen for visualisations is called “I Know How to Party”.
Daydream Explosion is due out on July 12 this year on Wicked Cool Records and The Orchard. It’s the first new music from the band since their 2017 full-length, Whiplash Splash.
If you can’t wait for the full release of Daydream Explosion, you can check out “I Know How to Party” below in the meantime.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 12:20 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Indie/pop-punk act The Hippaes have released a music video for their song “You Let Me Be.”
You can check it out below.
“You Let Me Be” comes from the bands’ upcoming debut album Hip! Hip!! Hippaes!!! that is set to be released on June 28th via Everything Sucks Music.
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 3:36 PM (PST) by Rachael Clifford
California punk band Grayscale have just released the third pressing of their LP, What We’re Missing, on Anchor Eighty Four Records. The band released the album this past February and the record is available on neon green and orange vinyl, limited to 500 copies of each. You can stream the emotional pop punk record below to get a taste of the band.
Monday, June 3, 2019 at 2:43 PM (PST) by Mike Scott
Bowling For Soup have released a cover of Suicide Machines’ “Sometimes I Don’t Mind” as a new single. The track, which is part of their 25th anniversary plans, has an accompanying video, which you can watch below.
Upcoming dates to mark their quarter century are up on their website.
It’s the end of a work week; it’s raising a fist; it’s screaming your lungs out—it’s diving headfirst into a hundred sweaty bodies. South Carolina’s Longshot Odds captures the energy and abandon of a raging pit, a marriage of iron-heavy chords and honey-thick leads—the kind of music where the bruising comes with the chorus. Their new EP, Circle the Drain, is a six-song EP from an exciting new voice in punk rock—but what they bring to the table is more than the same old sounds. From the metallic “Challenger,” to the grandiose and cinematic “Movin’ On,” all the way to the bouncey folk of “Blood and Asphalt”—Longshot Odds bring a diversity to their sound practically unheard of in today's skate punk scene. But above all this, Circle the Drain promises deliverance through rock ‘n roll, and Longshot Odds fight tooth and claw to deliver. The EP, out now on Dying Scene Records, can be streamed here.